ibook or powerbook for student/artist

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by C-Mezak, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. C-Mezak macrumors regular

    C-Mezak

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #1
    Hey everyone. Ive seen some great responses to these sorts of questions in the past so I thought I would give it a try myself. Here's my situation:

    Im about to take off for college. I don't expect to be able to afford another computer for a long time so the long-term stability and value of macs really entices me. I expect to be doing a lot of writing and communicating with my new laptop, but I also do a fair bit of Photoshop work on 70+ MB images as well as some music production.

    Im trying to decide between the 12" ibook and the 12" powerbook. After upgrades (hard drive and airport), my basic ibook would cost me $1,137. For $250 more I could have the 12" powerbook that includes these features as well as 133Mhz more clockspeed, built-in bluetooth, twice the VRAM, and various other perks. Are there major differences that I am missing? And do these differences justify $250 more from a cash-strapped student? Keep in mind that I'd like to avoid buying another computer for as long as possible. Will the extras in the powerbook extend it's usefulness very much?

    Thanks, guys!
     
  2. Whigga Spitta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
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    Can you say Chi-City??
    #2
    As an artist, you should be able to justify the $250 on aesthetics alone.

    Just kidding, but yes, DO get the Powerbook.
     
  3. Ajmbc macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #3
    I second that- the powerbook will be able to handle all of the features an artist/graphic designer might need.

    The powerbook's durability and faster processor will last you longer- which alone (to me) justifies 250 dollars.
     
  4. C-Mezak thread starter macrumors regular

    C-Mezak

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #4
    Durability. I had thought that the ibook might provide a bit more durability than the powerbook, what with the plastic case. I dont mind scratches or stains or any other forms of "character", but I do tend to beat the hell out of my stuff.

    As for the processor speed, I hope that it will help fend off obsolesence a little longer.

    Thanks a lot, man!
     
  5. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

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    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #5
    Since you're an artist, consider that you might want to hook up a 23" cinema display a year or two down the road, and I think the Powerbook is better for using with external displays. Do check that out though, I'm not 100% certain.
     
  6. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    May 2, 2003
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    Home of Al-Qaida
    #6
    Why stop at 23" when you can hook the iBook/PB up to 300" lecture hall projector screen?

    For the long haul, go w/ the extra power of the PB. Just get a nice sleeve and bag to protect it if you're afraid of dings and bumps. The screen protector/cleaner doesn't hurt either.
     
  7. Ajmbc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #7
    True, the plastic and the rubber-mount hard drive in the iBook make it more durable, but the powerbook will take some abuse as long as you dont drop it.
     
  8. JCorn2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #8
    I feel your pain

    I myself am in a very similar situation... going off to school, buying a mac, and deciding whether to go powerbook or ibook. I think in the end I am going to go with the powerbook. Durability can be taken care of with a case but the power is unsurpassable. If you are doing photoshop, compostition/production, and isight/ichat -- I would go with the powerbook.

    Good Luck,
    Joe
     
  9. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #9
    If you are thinking of the future some of the new features in tiger may require a 64Mb video Card so that is a big advantage too.

    I would also say get the PB, not that I dislike the iBooks because they are both great computers. Good luck deciding ! :D
     
  10. Solafaa macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
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    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #10
    The iBook can handle what you will be doing, i used to have a 15" PowerBook but sold it to a friend and i got a 12" iBook. Money is not the issue here its just that i liked the iBook's feel better and looks. I used to run VPC on both laptops and i can tell you that they both do the tast very well. If you ask me get any since they both do the tasks you would need.
     
  11. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    54140
    #11
    Okay, I'm going to make this lengthy as I will copy it and save it for future reference.

    I am a Graphic Design (Art Major, Graphic Design Emphasis) student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I have been operating for the first two years of my college education with a 400MHz G3 iMac DV (768MB RAM, 30GB external HD). To tell you the truth, it was okay. Not fast, but okay. I had been saving up to buy a new computer, and in March (3 weeks before a new revision) bought myself a 12" iBook 800MHz G4 (I added BT and AE). My logic was as follows: I was doubling my clockspeed, going from 768MB RAM to just 640MB (but the new RAM is faster) in addition to making a "processor jump" from G3 to G4, I was only 200MHz shy of the PB (at the time) *plus* I was upgrading from an 8MB video card to a 32MB video card. (Not to mention I was adding AE and BT and still it was cheaper than the Rev. B 12" PB.) So, I was getting most of the functionality for less cost. Also, the iBooks get better battery life, and are more durable. (That's what my research had told me)

    So I bought the iBook. I was happy... or so I thought.

    After just 3.5 months, I sold the iBook (and my iMac) and funded the purchase of a new Rev. C 12" PowerBook. And I have to tell you, It was a *very* wise move. Not only does the additional processor speed help with 2D work, but the video card doubled *again* to 64MB and I know that will help with speeding the OS up, in addition to the small amount of 3D work that I will be doing. The PowerBook is a much nicer machine all around. It's smaller, lighter, the keyboard is *much, MUCH* better (and I was completely fine with the iBook keyboard, in fact, I loved it!), battery life isnt' much less, and the whole thing is faster than I could have imagined with just the stock 256MB RAM. Now that I have an additional 512MB on it's way, I am very excited.

    So, in short, I would have been able to save myself time, money, and stress if I had just gone with the PowerBook the first time around in March. But I'm glad that I waited, because now, AE, BT are included and standard. While I spent time carefully selecting my iBook configuration in March, when I bought my PowerBook, I walked into the local Apple Store, and bought the stock configuration.

    I would reccomend nothing less than a 1Ghz G4 for anyone doing serious Graphics work. And I dont' mean "serious" as "intensive", I mean "serious" as "important, crucial" work towards your goals.
     
  12. webmatthijs macrumors member

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    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #12
    Powerbook

    As you use photoshop and make music i really think you should get the PB. It has a better performence over these sort of things.

    And compared with prices you get MUCH more from the Powerbook.

    no kiddin, i say PB!
     
  13. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    Not to hijack this thread or anything, but I'm having the same dilemma. I'm starting a PhD program in Bioengineering this year, and I want to upgrade my (only a year old) iBook G3 800, as a) It's a G3, b) I'm going to have more money this summer than I will over the course of my education and c) I need something that will last through school.

    I love the 12" screen size, I wouldn't get the 14" iBook, though I think its value is excellent.

    I will most likely be running Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, MS Office 04 (word/excel mostly), OpenOffice (a lot of Linux used in my department), some Octave/Matlab, but nothing too processor intensive (like photoshop). Would the iBook be good enough for me, or is it worth the 300-400 more for the PB?

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    MP
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
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    Northern Virginia
    #14
    I think the ability to span monitors is worth it for what you are doing (I know there are hacks, but prefer not to "risk" that myself).
     
  15. C-Mezak thread starter macrumors regular

    C-Mezak

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #15
    From what I've seen and heard. the ibook should be perfect for you. It's definitely got enough power for the tasks you've enumerated.

    I think that I, however, am going to go for the powerbook. I don't know when I'll next be able to afford a new computer, so I may as well grab something nice now when I have the chance. Im going to the apple store in an hour or so and should have a powerbook by the time I go to work. :)

    I have some questions, though.

    This machine is going to set me way back in terms of money. I don't know that I'll be able to accessorize much at all. Are there any accessories that people feel are absolutely essential? And where should I go for a bargain??

    Thanks!!!
    Charlie
     
  16. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Location:
    54140
    #16
    I have gotten my second Tucano Second Skin, but if you want another one, there's more listed. I reccomend a sleeve over a case, because then you can carry your 'Book in whatever kind of bag/case you want. And the Tucano one is the best IMHO, it's fitted perfectly, so you're not carrying around any excess.

    I will be buying myself a Traveler Coolpad. It'll be nice to raise the keyboard a tiny bit (easier typing angle), added airflow, and swivel. All for $20. I'm going to buy mine at Circuit City.
     
  17. Solafaa macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

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    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #17
    Both laptops are good, it all depends on what your gona do. I dont need the best speeds on the world for what i do (iTuens, MS office, iPhoto and othere stuff) thats why i go an iBook. I like how it feels better. If you need speed go with the PB other wise i think the iBook is better.
     
  18. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    Thanks for the help everyone,

    I decided, since I want the computer to last as long as possible, to get the PowerBook. Size was a factor, and they don't make a 12" 1.2GHz iBook. It feels a bit more solidly built than the iBook, but when comparing the two, they both felt responsive, and well built. I'd say to test them out yourself, and pick one, you really can't lose.

    MP
     
  19. ajkst1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    #19
    I looked into this (keep in mind edu discount). $1,399 for the 12" PB stock configuration w/o Applecare...$1,365 for the same configuration 12" iBook WITH Applecare.

    It's all about what you need it for. I would say if your serious about doing graphics work to go for the Powerbook. If you're only doing papers and going online and doing light occasional graphics work, get the iBook.

    THAT....and the aluminum case is just plain slick. :)
     

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